Rocket Companies founder Dan Gilbert is coming to his hometown of Detroit, Michigan to help low-income residents and community organizations. It was recently announced that Gilbert would make a $ 500 million, ten-year investment in the city.
Of that $ 500 million, $ 350 million will come from the Gilbert Family Foundation and $ 150 million will come from Rocket Community Fund, Rocket’s philanthropic department.
The first order of business in Gilbert’s plan is to eliminate the property tax debt that has been accumulated by about 20,000 low-income Detroit homeowners. It is expected to cost $ 15 million and will establish the Detroit Tax Relief Fund. That organization hopes to pay the remaining property taxes for those eligible for the program to bring down the high rate of foreclosure in the Detroit area.
This is not Gilbert’s first investment to help get his city back on its cosmic footing. In 2013, he was an assistant in the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force, an organization that saw about 169,000 vacant buildings in the Detroit metro area. In 2010, Gilbert moved the Ashen Loan headquarters (and 1,700 employees) to the city of Detroit to help revitalize the city. According to the company’s bye-laws, its headquarters cannot be moved out of Detroit, unless 75% of voting rights holders agree to a move. Mathematically, the charity owns 79% of the voting shares of the company, which, in essence, means that the company cannot move out of Detroit without their approval.
Gilbert founded Queen’s Loan in 1985 with $ 5,000 and avoided distributing pizza to the college. He was just 22 years old at the time.
Eventually, he changed the name of the company to Rocket.
By 2019, Rocket has grown into the largest mortgage lender in the United States. The company went public in August 2020. Thanks to its majority stake in Rocket, the company’s IPO raised Dan’s total assets to $ 36 billion in one day.
Outside of the Rockets, Dan Gilbert is perhaps best known for owning the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
As of this writing, we Dan Gilbert has total assets of $ 40 billion. Dan and his wife Jennifer are members of the Giving Pledge since 2012.
In a statement about his planned donation, Gilbert explained:
“Everyone is entitled to achieve the American dream of homeownership, and this includes the ability to build and permanently enjoy homes for themselves and their loved ones. Removing this tax burden would create a strong foundation for Detroit families.“